An insider’s guide to Hobart

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View from Mount Wellington and (inset) Shelley Richards
View from Mount Wellington and (inset) Shelley Richards

YOUR GUIDE

Name: Shelley Richards
Position: RACV/RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel manager
Why she loves it: It’s a picturesque city with a beautiful harbour and Mount Wellington as a backdrop. We have great produce, fabulous people, and it’s my home.
Absolute favourite? Relaxing at Frogmore Creek Winery while taking in the view with a glass of wine and beautiful food.

A fine art

Taking the ferry up the river to MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) is a must for every visitor. Hop on the boat at Brooke Street Pier and enjoy spectacular views of the city from the Derwent River. It’s all about the water, the cruise and the whole experience, because MONA has a little something for everyone. It’s Australia’s largest private museum and has been causing a stir since it opened in 2011. The building itself is spectacular and don’t miss the winery, microbrewery and restaurant. Look out for regular live music: MOFO music festival is in January and Dark MOFO in June. (Closed Tuesdays).

Taste tour

I love the Gourmania walking tours. They’re short and sharp – half a day – and you get the story of the city and visit some of our best cafes and taste great produce. The small-group tours are a lot of fun as you walk and taste your way around town. The two guides know the city inside out and you get a bit of storytelling as they take you to little-known spots you might otherwise miss.

Salamanca Place
Salamanca Place

So Salamanca

You can’t visit Hobart without checking out Salamanca Market, which sees about 300 of Tasmania’s best artists, craftspeople and food producers set up stalls with their wares. Go early – start at the top at Davey Street and work your way down one side of the market. I usually grab a coffee at the eastern end before I head back. Don’t be afraid to jump off the market trail and explore the beautiful galleries, boutiques and stores of Salamanca Place, where the Georgian sandstone buildings are stars in their own right.

To market

Hobart is blessed to have so many markets. Locals love the Farm Gate Market every Sunday (8.30am to 1pm) in Bathurst Street. Stallholders have to make it, grow it or produce it to take part. You can have a bite to eat, a nice coffee and people line up for the sushi.

I love the pickles, jams and enoki mushrooms. The Hobart Food Truck Market started in December. At Macquarie Point’s Red Square on Sundays all the food trucks come together with other produce, arts and crafts pop-ups and the Hobart Brewing Company. The Hobart Twilight Market, with gourmet food and handcrafts, is held on Fridays, alternating between Sandy Bay Beach and Macquarie Point (October to March – check Facebook). Street Eats @ Franko at Franklin Square is every Friday, 4.30pm to 9pm (December-April).

Out of town

Richmond is a beautiful 30-minute drive out of Hobart. It’s home to Australia’s oldest bridge and oldest Catholic church, and the old Georgian buildings are impressive. It’s a good place to learn about our convict history. Explore the Coal River Valley, starting with the Coal River Farm in Cambridge where they make chocolate and cheese. The valley is known for its wine, including Pooley Wines and the nearby Frogmore Creek Winery which has great food. Another favourite Coal Valley wine of mine is Tolpuddle but it doesn’t have a tasting room, alas.

Battery Point
Battery Point

Set foot

Hobart’s an easy city to walk around – you don’t need a car – and there are a range of walking tours (including Gourmania or Hobart Historic Tours) to choose from. City walks include the Battery Point Sculpture Trail, the Cascade Walking Track and Rivulet Park.

High point

Mount Wellington, which frames the city, is a wilderness reserve about 20 kilometres from Hobart with great views of the city. The Mount Wellington Descent is a mountain bike ride from the summit. You can get a tour to transport you up to the top, supply you with a bike, and you can ride back down to the city. There are beautiful walks around the park too.

Heart of it

Battery Point is one of my favourite spots as some of the oldest buildings in the city are here – and I live nearby. From Salamanca Place, climb Kelly Steps to explore the pretty winding streets of Georgian cottages and colonial mansions. It’s called Battery Point after the 1818 gun battery built to protect Hobart. Have a coffee on Hampden Road – Jackman & McRoss is a popular spot, and if you’d like a drink Shippies (Shipwrights Arms Hotel) in Trumpeter Street is a Hobart icon.  

Be devilled

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary at Brighton, 30 minutes north of the city, is a great place for families. You can see kangaroos, wombats, Tasmanian devils, eastern quolls and bettongs. The behind-the-scenes and night tours are great. Funds raised by the sanctuary are used to rescue wildlife and help save the endangered Tassie devil.

Eat streets

Locals like to pop in to the Lark Distillery for a drink. It’s a great place for a whisky in winter and you can buy something to take home. Daci & Daci, the French patisserie on Murray Street, is pure indulgence. If you’re looking for a good coffee, Villino (Criterion Street) is popular. To make the most of our long twilights, try dinner at The Glass House restaurant on the floating Brooke Street Pier. The pier is also home to Domaine Simha and Moorilla wines, McHenry whisky and gin, and the MONA ferry.

Bonorong Wildlife Park
MONA
Pooley Wines at Richmond
Brooke Street Pier & The Glass House
Red Square Food Truck Twilight Market
Lark Distillery

Photos: Anne Morley

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Written by Mary O’Brien
April 19, 2017